I think you will find this latest post to be in a different spirit than what you may have seen in the past. Going forward, we will be sharing with you our thoughts and observations about technology, the precast industry, “early adopters”, and hopefully engage you in a dialogue around technology and driving business results. Ultimately, we want you to consider this community a resource for you going forward.
The Good Old Days
For most precasters 2007/2008 was an unbelievable time. Business was booming…I mean really BOOMING! Generally speaking, most precasters were barely keeping up with demand, plants were hiring, revenues and profits were way up, old equipment and systems were being replaced, and life was good.
But was it really?
Sure, in one sense they were but on the other hand there were some incredible challenges as well. I was recently speaking to a guy down in Texas about this and he said, “We were dying. 2008 was our best year ever by about 70%, but I won’t soon forget the toll it took on our people and our plant. Granted, we had money to invest in solutions to help with some of the challenges, but it was a very difficult time for everyone here.” He went on to say that, as a company, they were not prepared for the demand they experienced (but realistically how could they be? They had never seen anything like it before!) and learned a great deal about how they would do things in the future. Remember, this is the President for 25 yrs. of an established well known precaster.
As I reflect on this guy’s comments (and he is by the way going to be a customer of ICT), it makes me wonder what some of the issues you and your organization experienced during this time. Was it all roses (which I doubt) or did you suffer in some of the ways his people did? And if you did, how so?
They say that, “the race is won in the turns.” And this is as true for business as it is for sports. In my opinion (and I would be glad to hear your thoughts on it as well), those organizations that use the “turn” we are in to get better, invest in the future, and prepare for the straightaway coming up will be better able grow market share, attract and retain the right people, and strengthen their position in the industry. Those that don’t, will be caught flat-footed and will have already lost. As my friend in Texas pointed out, “My memory is still pretty sharp, and next time around we won’t have the same problems. Sure, there will be new problems, but I’ll be damned if we can’t learn from the past.”
In what ways are you preparing for the next wave? Or are you waiting for “the right time” to start? We would love to hear from you.